The Hidden Costs of Not Understanding - Part 1

You’re hired!

You’re hired!

Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse Code operator. 

Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address that was listed. When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background.  A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office. 

The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants in the waiting area. 

After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. 

Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on. They muttered among themselves that they hadn’t heard any summons yet. They assumed that the young man who went into the office made a mistake and would be disqualified.

Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, “Thank you all very much for coming, but the job has just been filled.” 

The other applicants began grumbling to each other, and one spoke up saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t understand. He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair!” 

The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse Code: ‘If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.’ 

All of you heard it, but none of you understood it. This young man did. The job is his.” 

This is a great example of hearing a message, but not understanding a message.

Hearing the message, but not understanding the message, could be costing you dearly.
— Dr. Kurt Wright

The Cautionary Tale of Phil & Polly: Has this ever happened to you?

In these next few posts, we’ll outline real-world stories about a fictitious couple named Phil and Polly (we’ve changed the names to protect the innocent).  

We’ll be sharing situations and circumstances they experience every day.   

Can you relate?

In these next few posts, we’ll be addressing things like:

·     How to know if that feeling of isolation you’re experiencing is due to difficulty of hearing.

·     If you have difficulty hearing, here’s what your family members really think.  (If you continually ask them to repeat themselves, this is how they feel about that).

·     Everyone mumbles these days, right?  Wrong!  We’ll explain what causes so many misunderstandings. 

·     The truth about hearing loss – and how it’s affecting your closest relationships.

·     The single, fastest way to improve relations with your spouse (and other loved ones).

·     Here’s a secret: your family and loved ones may not want to talk to you, and the steps you can take to prevent this from happening.

·     What you need to know about hearing aids, hearing tests and hearing doctors (Doctors of Audiology).

·     Do you make this mistake when you can’t understand a question you were just asked? If you do, better be ready to fake it!

·     The #1 reason why your loved one doesn’t talk to you as much as they once did.

·     Do Doctors of Audiology have a secret that other hearing providers in box stores don’t want you to know?

·     What NEVER to do if you misunderstand or can’t hear an important conversation.


We’ll email you a link to the Phil & Polly article series, or it will appear here on the Manna Audiology blog. Be on the look-out for these stories and you can tell us:

Does this sound familiar?

(This is part 1 of a 4-part series devoted to the feelings associated with experiencing hearing loss, as depicted through the relationship of “Phil & Polly”)


About the author:

Dr. Kurt D. Wright

Dr. Kurt D. Wright

Dr. Kurt D. Wright has been helping people hear better for over 20 years. He is the founding audiologist at Manna Audiology Hearing Center, a hearing clinic which services Charlotte, North Carolina and metro area. He earned his Doctor of Audiology Degree (Au.D.) from Salus University in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree in Augiology from Kent State University. He has a bachelor’s degree from Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Illinois.  Dr. Wright is a member of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) as well as a Fellow of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA). The Audiological Resource Association (ARA) honored him as the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Audiologist Award. 

Dr. Wright has a passion for helping each Charlotte area patient achieve the best hearing possible.